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Jankovic’s spirit sees off Serena

Serena Williams failed to reach the final of the Italian Open after Jelena Jankovic saved two match points to win through on a third set tie-break in Rome.

Both players had a mixed match, producing nine aces and 17 double-faults between them, but it was the Serb who prevailed 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.

The world No 1 was not as effective as her opponent on her serve but took a one-set lead. Jankovic hit back to level but Williams was on the brink of progressing when she had two match points in the third set, which were saved by the world No 7. Jankovic then forced a tie-break, in which Williams took a 5-2 lead but Jankovic won five consecutive points to move into the final after a match which lasted two hours 47 minutes.

There was no such drama in the other semi-final as Ana Ivanovic's resurgent run came to an end at the hands of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, the Serb losing 6-4, 6-2.